Review this album
Jul 19, 2011311's Presale Site delivered copies early so I have been fortunately (perhaps unfortunate) to have this album since Friday (7/15/11). As a fan of 311 since 1993, I'm very disappointed in the direction the band has been going. First of all, one should know this is the shortest "full" release 311 has ever come out with, comprised of only 8 songs and clocking in at a total running time of 29 minutes, 46 seconds. Any other band would have called this an EP and priced it accordingly. I honestly can't help but wonder what happened to the band that gave us albums like Transistor where they billed it as a "double album" of 21 tracks to give value to the fans. Secondly, this "album" is mostly forgettable, typical, pop-rock tracks that are full of filler verses that are often repeated, and filler choruses that are simply sounds or one, or two word, stanzas that are repeated several times (count how many times the word "Weightless" is said on the song of the same name - it makes up half of the lyrics). A lot of the trademarked 311 "funk" is either completely subdued or completely absent. Once again, SA Martinez plays the role of vocalist and hardly does any rhyming - and when he does, it's weak because the lyrics are weak. The album feels slapped together, as if it's a cash grab, trying to get one summer season's worth of play before being taken out of one's playlist and forgotten. This is nothing like old school 311 and anyone who says otherwise has clearly not listened to "Music", "Grassroots", or even "311 (The Blue Album)" in a number of years. On those albums, SA Martinez actually rhymes with force and authority, Nick Hexum flows both hard and mellow, the funk flows throughout, and the lyrics are (mostly) well thought out and meaningful. "Universal Pulse", however, is just like "Uplifter" and "Don't Tread on Me" before it - ultimately forgettable and destined for top 40 radio play in a month or two.
If you MUST have any of these new songs and want the best the album has to offer, save your money and just buy "Time Bomb", "Sunset In July", and "Count Me In" as individual tracks. The rest simply aren't worth the purchase price.… Expand